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Webinar Science and Life

Finding your way: The science and psychology of success

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Finding your way: The science and psychology of success

Recorded 24 January 2019


What is success to you? For each of us, what it means to be successful in our work and our personal lives might be very different. Where do we develop our concept of success, and how is it influenced by our environment and culture? How do we measure our success, both internally and relative to others? Do we value money, inner peace, or a Nobel Prize? Do we fear failure? And what price are we willing to pay to be successful? Are we prepared to exchange greater success at work for less time with family?

In this webinar we will address these questions with our expert panel, all of whom have experienced success, at least according to some measures. We will hear their personal stories about wins and losses, struggles and breakthroughs. They will help us examine our own thinking about what success means and what we might consider sacrificing or risking to reach our goals. We will also delve into what scientific research tells us about our desire for success and how satisfied we are when we achieve it. Join us for a fascinating discussion of both the science and the psychology behind success.

This webinar will last for approximately 60 minutes.

Speaker bios

Albert-László Barabási, Ph.D.

Northeastern University
Boston, MA

Dr. Barabási is the Robert Gray Dodge Professor of Network Science and a University Distinguished Professor at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, where he directs the Center for Complex Network Research. He also holds appointments in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Central European University in Budapest. A native of Transylvania, Romania, he received his Master’s in theoretical physics at Eštvšs University in Budapest, Hungary and his Ph.D. from Boston University. He is the author of Network Science (2016) and the coeditor of The Structure and Dynamics of Networks (2005) and Network Medicine (2017). His latest book, The Formula: The Universal Laws of Success, was published in 2018. His work has led to many breakthroughs, including the discovery of scale-free networks, which continues to make him one of the most cited scientists. Dr. Barabási is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His many awards and recognitions include the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) Anniversary Prize for Systems Biology (2005), the John von Neumann Medal for outstanding achievements in computer science and technology (2006), the C&C Prize from the NEC Foundation (2008), the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Cozzarelli Prize (2009), the Lagrange Prize for his contributions to complex systems (2011), the Prima Primissima Award for his contributions to science (2014), and the Senior Scientific Award of the Complex Systems Society (2017). He was elected a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the Romanian Academy, Academia Europaea, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences, and has received honorary doctorates from Universidad PolitŽcnica de Madrid, the West University of Timisoara, and Utrecht University.

Njeri Rionge

Independent entrepreneur
Toronto, Canada

Ms. Rionge is one of East Africa’s most successful serial entrepreneurs, as described by Forbes. She is a director and board secretary of the Corktown Residents and Business Association, a Northern Secondary School Council member and Co-Secretary, was Co-Chair for Elevate Tech 2018 Toronto, and has been a speaker at several events globally, including attending the 2015 Oscars for the Dare Greatly advertising campaign by Cadillac. She has also held board positions with Unilever Tea (Brooke Bond Kenya), the Institute of Directors (Kenya), the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA), and Ambulance Air Rescue (AAR) Holdings, as well as Wananchi Nominees Limited and Wananchi Online Ltd. (now the Wananchi Group). She is a current advisory committee member of Sport at the Service of Humanity at the Vatican. Ms. Rionge is one of the few female pioneers in the information and communications technology sector on the African continent. She co-founded Internet service provider Wananchi Online, now Wananchi Group Holdings—one of East Africa’s leading providers of pay-TV, broadband Internet, and VoIP services. She is currently raising capital for an African fund, a private-equity, closed-ended fund domiciled in the Cayman Islands. She commutes between her Toronto and Nairobi offices to play a pivotal role in making the changes we want to see on the African continent.

Darren Griffin, Ph.D.

University of Kent
Canterbury, UK

Dr. Griffin is Professor of Genetics at the University of Kent, United Kingdom. He is director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Reproduction ( that has a mandate to encourage cross-disciplinary endeavors. As president of the International Chromosome and Genome Society, he promotes the interests of chromosome research and science communication worldwide. His personal research interests include the study of chromosome analysis, the genetics of early human development (including preimplantation genetic diagnosis), gametogenesis, and chromosome evolution (including an interest in dinosaur chromosomes). He has published over 200 scholarly manuscripts and raised over GBP 10 million in grant funding. He is a regular contributor to the national and local media, speaking on issues such as “designer babies,” personalized genomics, and how to be a successful academic scientist.

Shruti Naik, Ph.D.

NY University Langone Health
New York, NY

Dr. Naik is an assistant professor at the New York University School of Medicine. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania–U.S. National Institutes of Health Graduate Partnership Program, then pursued her postdoctoral studies as a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fellow at The Rockefeller University. She studies the dynamic interactions between immune cells, epithelial stem cells, and microbes. She is a strong advocate for increasing diversity in science and promoting the advancement of underrepresented and marginalized groups. For her research and advocacy, she has received numerous awards including the Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation, the L’Oréal USA For Women in Science Award, the Damon Runyon–Dale F. Frey Award for Breakthrough Scientists, the Sartorius & Science Prize for Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy (Finalist), the Tri-Institutional Breakout Award for Junior Investigators, the Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists, and the Takeda Innovators in Science Award.

Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently, Dr. Sanders is the Director and Senior Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

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